7 Sep 2011

Call for Vanuatu to manage land titles properly

5:59 pm on 7 September 2011

Australia's National Native Land Title Council says it's urgent for Vanuatu to properly manage its lands.

Its chief executive, Brian Wyatt, has told Vanuatu's chiefs at a national meeting on land disputes and management in Port Vila that it is now time for them to find the rightful custom owner of the lands in their respective villages and communities.

He says Vanuatu is fortunate it has a constitution which states the land belongs to custom land owners.

The bulk of the land on the main island of Efate is leased to foreigners and this has caused disputes over ownership and the often low rents agreed to.

This week's meeting also includes Maori from New Zealand, Papua New Guineans and Fijians who've been asked to talk about their experiences in land dealings.